Watch: Michael Mann Brings the ‘Heat’ for His Expansive Master Class

Michael Mann sat down with Guillermo del Toro and Thierry Frémaux at the Festival Lumière to share insights and his 4K restoration of ‘Heat’.

Michael Mann’s decades long career began in television, where he played a key role in designing the cinematic aesthetic of the crime drama Miami Vice. After that, he directed countless classics, many of them criminally underseen, including Thief, Manhunter (the first Hannibal Lecter movie, despite what you might have been told), The Last of the Mohicans, and his 1995 Robert De Niro-Al Pacino epic heist film, Heat. Guillermo del Toro and Institut Lumiére director Thierry Frémaux led Mann through an expansive conversation, in which the director discussed his long career. Here are three highlights from their talk (which you can watch below, or listen to on SoundCloud.)

Read More

No Film School

What Are Horror Master John Carpenter’s Favorite Films?

Though director John Carpenter might enjoy making horror flicks, his cinematic diet surprisingly doesn’t have as much blood and guts.

John Carpenter has spent his career scaring the bejeezus out of movie-goers, and since it’s almost Halloween, it seems right to talk about the films that inspired him to make films that helped contribute to one of the most beloved horror subgenres in cinema. In the video below, Fandor has put together a list of the director’s favorite films, but interestingly enough, you’re not going to see a whole lot of blood, butcher’s knives, or Captain Kirk death masks in the films that shaped Carpenter as a filmmaker. However, that doesn’t mean the films on his list aren’t dark and twisted, as you’ll soon see.

Read More

No Film School

‘These Girls Were Disposable’: 3 Lessons from ‘Alias Grace’ Director Mary Harron’s TIFF Master Class

The maverick director of American Psycho delves into why her provocative stories work so well.

Canadian director Mary Harron has brought her distinctive, indie sensibilities to five feature films. With the premiere of the first two episodes of Alias Grace, Harron’s new miniseries for CBC and Netflix, adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), the director sat down at TIFF on Wednesday for a master class, in which she discussed everything from punk rock to feminism and her approach to casting and directing.

Here are three highlights from the hour-long conversation with this fiercely intelligent, maverick filmmaker.

Read More

No Film School

Video: Aaron Sorkin Master Class

From the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Just about an hour’s worth of insights from the writer known for movies and TV series including A Few Good Men, The Social Network, ‘West Wing’, and ‘Sports Night’. His latest: Writing and directing the movie Molly’s Game.

HT to Trish Curtin for posting the link in the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group.

For more video content from TIFF, go here.

Video: Aaron Sorkin Master Class was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Become a Workflow Master, Part 1: Before the Edit

Mastering post-production workflow can be a lifesaver for any project.

Becoming a post-production workflow master may not sound super exciting, but the time, energy, and frustration that you can save by mastering your own workflow will lead a more successful, less stressful, and more efficient post-production experience.

When I launched my video production company, it was a solo operation so my workflow didn’t need to be super clean. Today, Fractal Visuals has grown into a phenomenal and talented team of over 15 cinematographers, editors, and support crew. Creating a universal, ultra-clean, and unwavering workflow was a critical part of this growth. For any production company, a carefully crafted workflow ensures maximum productivity, no failures of communication, rapid turnaround times, and quality organization for archiving.

A carefully crafted workflow ensures maximum productivity.

Read More

No Film School

Watch: When Films and TV Shows Reference the ‘Reference Master’ Quentin Tarantino

How often do you have to reference other films in your own films before your films start being referenced in other films? Go ask Quentin Tarantino.

From Fellini’s 8 1/2 to Fujita’s Lady Snowblood, Quentin Tarantino has paid homage to a plethora of different films and TV shows in his own work. I imagine watching one of his films is kind of like walking through the video store where he used to work, Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, just title after title of timeless and obscure pieces of cinema.

Tarantino has made his favorite and most influential films such a part of his own work that his penchant for referencing them has become, on its own, a source of reference for other filmmakers. In this entertaining supercut by video essayist Jacob T. Swinney you’ll get to see just how high Tarantino’s work has reached in pop culture.

Read More

No Film School

An envelope in a Barcelona flea market held the work of an unknown master photographer


Image: Milagros Caturla, courtesy of Tom Sponheim

In the summer of 2001, American Tom Sponheim was vacationing in Barcelona with his wife. On their way to the cathedral of Sagrada Familia, they wandered through the bustling flea market of Els Encants.

Sponheim spotted a stack of photo negatives on a table, and after checking that they were decently exposed, asked the vendor how much. She asked for $ 2.50 for an envelope of the shots. He paid her $ 3.50.

Upon returning home, Sponheim scanned the negatives and discovered that he had stumbled upon the work of an unknown but immensely talented photographer. Read more…

More about 1960s, Barcelona, Spain, History, and Retronaut

Watch: The Cinematography of John Alcott, Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man and Master of Natural Light

Here’s a breakdown of cinematographer John Alcott’s techniques.

Make no bones about it: John Alcott is a legend. Stanley Kubrick’s cinematographer is responsible for some of the most stunning imagery in cinema history, including Barry Lyndon, which was meticulously shot using natural light and may as well have been a Romantic painting, and The Shining, which features ingenious camera movement.

Kubrick was a perfectionist and cinematographer in his own right; he demanded much of his DPs, both technically, physically, and emotionally. As a result, the turnover rate for lensing his films was high. Alcott, however, held his ground and was able to deliver on some of the director’s most challenging demands.

In a new video essay, YouTube channel Wolfcrow breaks down Alcott’s techniques.

Read More

No Film School

This Helpful Infographic Will Help You Master Shutter Speed in No Time

All things shutter speed are broken down in this convenient chart.

Understanding shutter speed can be a little difficult, especially when you consider how it affects and is affected by the two other important exposure settings, ISO and aperture. Cranking one up means you have to crank another down, and when you crank that one down you’ll have to balance it all by cranking the other one up. Getting proper exposure can get pretty confusing, especially in complicated shooting situations.

So, if you’re a beginner (or just like cheat sheets), this resource will help you out big time as you educate yourself on shutter speed. Travel photographer Viktor Elizarov has put together a super handy infographic that charts the many aspects of shutter speed, including important concepts relating to the Exposure Triangle (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture), as well as what images look like at different settings. Check it out below:

Read More

No Film School

30+ Free E-Books That Will Help You Master Filmmaking

These free online resources cover many aspects of filmmaking that you need to know, from screenwriting to post.

[Editor’s Note: No Film School asked Soukaina El Gharbaoui to collect these resources because of her expertise working with filmmakers at]

If you’re reading this, I can only assume that you’re here because you’ve made films or are interested in making films. Thus, I can also imagine that you know something about both the excitement and challenges that the process entails—including the cost. One way you might be able to save some of your budget is to avoiding purchasing the professional books that teach you different aspects of the craft. Not only are these expensive, but they are often outdated as technological development beats the speed of publishing.

Since I work at a startup that develops a tool for film producers, I know how tight your schedule is. Who wants to spend their precious time researching reliable sources? Fortunately, we’ve collected the best free guides and eBooks about filmmaking for you right here.

Read More

No Film School

1 2